Closing out the 2017 Season at the MSHSL State Tournament

By Simone V., May 17, 2017

The Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) helps promote FIRST Robotics as a high school Varsity sport, by holding an annual state tournament at the University of Minnesota prior to the end of the academic year. The State Tournament is affiliated with FIRST Robotics through the FIRST in Minnesota Planning Committee, which jointly administers the competition. More than that, it’s a fun way for qualifying teams to play the current year’s game, STEAMworks, for one last time in a full arena setting.

The top 36 Minnesota FIRST Robotics teams, based on qualifying points, will compete at the State Tournament Saturday, May 20th, at Mariucci Arena. Each Minnesota FRC team earns qualifying points for the State Tournament at their first, FIRST competition, no matter where their first event is played. This year, many of the 208 Minnesota FIRST teams competed within Minnesota at competitions that included the North Star and 10,000 Lakes events at the University of Minnesota, as well as the Lake Superior and Northern Lights competitions at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center (DECC), Duluth.

“This year we made it to state by winning the Chairman’s award at the Lake Superior Regional. We’ll be competing against the top teams in the state,” said team member Morgan Sheehy. “This is a great opportunity for us to focus on our robot and have a last hurrah in the 2017 season.”

One of the fun aspects of the state competition is that there is a Mascot and Flag Parade at the opening ceremonies. Each team has a chance to display their flag and have their mascot walk across the field as the master of ceremonies introduces each team that won its way to State. In addition to the robot competition awards, there are awards sponsored by Dunwoody College of Technology called the Outstanding Engineering & Design Awards. According to Dunwoody, this award recognizes robotics teams that “”exhibit unique engineering and/or design solutions.” Three teams will be selected via interviews with faculty from Dunwoody College’s College of Technology’s Robotics and Manufacturing Department.

The state competition follows closely on heels of the Team’s appearance at the FIRST Robotics World Championship in St. Louis. The Green Machine double-qualified for the Championship by winning the Regional Chairman's Award at the Lake Superior Regional, Duluth, and the Engineering Inspiration Award at the Minnesota 10,000 Lakes Regional, Minneapolis.

Robot-wise, the Team’s Zeppelin ended qualifications as the 28th seed in the Carson Division, able to place gears and shoot wiffle-ball “fuel” consistently. The robot also climbed the rope during the end game of several matches.

1816 Team members were also featured in seminar that focused on the importance of STEM Advocacy. The National Advocacy seminar covered local, state and federal advocacy efforts of The Green Machine and other FIRST teams nationally. The Green Machine is a founding member of the annual National Advocacy Conference, held every June in Washington, DC. The Team established a local version, the Minnesota Advocacy Conference, last fall.

Come visit The Green Machine at the MN State Robotics Competition! Stop by between 8:00 am and 3:30 pm on Saturday, May 20th, to see our robot in action and to get any questions you may have answered by team members. We hope to see you there!